Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has insisted that the club will not sell defender Dejan Lovren in the January transfer window.
Football Insider reported that Klopp does not want the Croatian centre-back to be sold mid-season and is hoping to defer any discussion about his future at Anfield until the end of the campaign.
According to Football Insider, the Reds were willing to entertain any offers of £20m or more for the 30-year-old during the summer, but now the club appear to have changed their stance on the defender.
Lovren appeared to be on his way out of Anfield this summer after five years as a Liverpool player when Roma showed strong interest in him, but the deal fell through after he insisted on a €1m (£862,540) signing-on fee from the Serie A club, as reported by Tuttomercato [via TeamTalk].
Having started 20 or more Premier League games in each of his first four seasons with the Reds, he made just 11 league starts in 2018/19 and seemed to have fallen behind Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez in the centre-back pecking order.
He didn’t even make the matchday squad for Liverpool’s first six league games this season but has been playing frequently since Matip suffered a knee injury last month, with the Cameroonian last playing in the 1-1 draw at Manchester United three weeks ago.
The 30-year-old Croatian has been a very strong presence in the air for Liverpool this season, with a match average of 6.7 successful aerial duels in the Premier League and five per game in the Champions League (as per WhoScored). Gomez’s respective aerial duels averages are 1.3 domestically and 4.3 in Europe.
Lovren has also had a better passing success rate than the England defender in 2019/20 (84.2% to 83.9%), as well as winning more tackles (1.3 to 0.7) and making more interceptions (1.3 to 0.3) per game than Gomez.
Lovren’s aerial prowess may well have convinced Klopp to select him ahead of Gomez recently, although the Croatian has still been questioned by some Liverpool supporters after iffy moments in wins over Genk and Tottenham last month.
With Matip on the treatment table and Gomez posting inferior metrics to the 30-year-old, Liverpool might not have enough central defensive depth to let Lovren leave this season, which makes Klopp’s desire to keep him in the short-term understandable.
Liverpool fans, do you think Lovren should be sold in January if an attractive offer comes in or should they keep him until next summer at least? Have your say by commenting below!
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